"Alexa, What are the Fastest-Falling Names of the Year?"

May 11th 2018

Baby names usually follow the maxim that "there's no such thing as bad publicity." Even the name Harvey—our 2017 Name of the Year based on the double-whammy of Hurricane Harvey and Harvey Weinstein—rose by 10% last year. But it appears that there are limits. Parents shy away from a name that takes orders.

2017 was a big year for virtual assistants. Alexa, the Amazon product, became far more common (and more controversial) in 2017...and Alexa the baby name plummeted. So did Alexis, a turn-of-the-millennium favorite whose decline has been hastened by association. Meanwhile Apple's popular intelligent assistant has failed to launch the baby name Siri into American use.

Alexa, via amazon.com

What sets these products apart from others is the way we interact with them: by name. Imagine being a human Alexa in a household where people are constantly addressing the electronic version. Then consider that when we say "Alexa" or "Siri," we're inevitably issuing a command. Amazon has built in a way to change the name of your own device, but in other settings an Alexa is likely to find herself accidentally ordered around.

The full list of the fastest-falling names of the year:

#1: Jase (M). Jase and Jayceon were the fastest-rising boys' names of 2013, boosted by reality tv stars Jase Robertson (Duck Dynasty) and Jayceon Taylor (Marrying the Game). Today, they're falling back to Earth. Jayceon ranked #9 on the falling list.

#2: Alexis (F).

#3: Kylie (F). While an initial burst of publicity is positive, ongoing Kardashian/Jenner-level publicity can leave a name feeling over-familiar. Kylie Jenner's name has apparently crossed that line with many parents; sister Kendall's name fell sharply as well.

#4: Alexa (F).

#5: Blake (M). The popularity of the boys' name Blake held remarkably steady for a generation, but it has recently taken a dive—despite a high-profile standard bearer in country singer Blake Shelton. The ever-growing ranks of girls named Blake are the likely reason.


Read More: The fastest rising girls' and boys' names



By Spam
May 13, 2018 4:05 PM

Oops I commented on the wrong post about this a second ago...but if Harvey declines it will be NEXT year because we need to remember the time period the name data released last Friday covers.  The hurricane and the scandal both occurred later in the year; there was not enough time for those events to reverse Harvey's popularity momentum in early 2017.

May 13, 2018 4:21 PM

Agreed with Spam that we can expect to see Harvey reverse its forward momentum in the 2018 name stats. 

I'm personally most interested on the impact that Stormy Daniels will have on the 2018 names - as I was scrolling through the SSA list, I kept coming across many variant spellings (e.g. Stormii). Between the name being in the news for Trump scandal reasons *and* a Kardashian baby, I think it's high profile but also not overwhelmingly associated with one user. As such, I think it'll rise from the increased publicity in spite of the fug of scandal surrounding the name. I also think it's a good contender for the 2018 name of the Year, actually, because I've never heard so much "legal name known as pseudonym" as in the recent months... the use of Stormy has I think been very deliberately used to separate the mom/victim persona from the adult film actress role in a way that was interesting to watch in the news.

Names that I'm surprised by the staying power of include some pop culture associations that haven't plummetted the way I'd have expected: Renesmee, Mulan, Vanellope (I'm still on the female half of the list in my scroll through). And Hermione even logged its biggest useage year yet.